New risk factor for tumor growth decoded
In Germany, colon cancer is the second most common tumor in women and the third most common tumor in men. If one compares the number of new cases in Germany with other countries, the international comparison shows that we occupy one of the top positions in this country. Researchers from Cologne were able to assign nutritional and living habits a fundamental role in the development of colorectal cancer. The study found that there is a clear relationship between obesity and tumor growth.

Overweight people are at an increased risk colon cancer to get sick. This was determined by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne as part of a student research project. The researchers uncovered detailed relationships between the presence of overweight and an increased colorectal cancer risk. These basics can serve as potential targets for new therapies. The study results were recently published in the renowned journal ” Nature Communications “Published.
German scientists from the Max Planck Institute decipher the links between colon cancer and obesity. According to the results of the study, overweight causes the body to be in constant stress, which promotes inflammatory reactions that result in a reduced fight against cancer cells. (Image: Kurhan /
How is the connection?
“If the body has to store more and more excess fat, a stress reaction will develop in adipose tissue,” explains study leader Dr. med. Thomas Wunderlich in a press release about the study results. This stress response alerts the body’s immune system, which in turn can trigger inflammation in the adipose tissue.
Obesity puts the body in constant stress
As the expert reports, persistent overweight and persist obesity the body in a state of continuous stress. The resulting inflammation could spread through the blood throughout the body. In the end, this leads to changes in the immune system. “Cancer cells are no longer fought, but promote their survival and so does tumor growth,” summarizes Wunderlich.
Just because someone is fat, you do not automatically get cancer
“Just because you’re fat does not make you sick with cancer,” says the first author of the study. Claudia Wunderlich. But if degenerated cells form in the body as a result of the excess weight, this promotes tumor growth.

New targets for therapies
In addition to the identified relationships, the results also provide new approaches for future therapies. “Using mouse models, we were able to work out specific points of attack for possible therapeutic approaches in humans,” sums up the expert. In the overweight mice, the researchers could successfully reduce the risk of disease.
In overweight mice already tested
The research team eliminated a specific population of immune cells in experiments on genetically modified mice. In addition, the altered genetics of the animals prevented that changes in the immune system take place in high-fat diets. Both methods led to a decrease in inflammation and an increase in the control of degenerate cells, which ultimately also reduced the development of colon cancer. (Vb)


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